I hear this quite frequently “Oh man, you know… I should get into Real Estate! It seems super easy!” This mentality can cause an inexperienced investor to take on a rental property and with out realizing they are putting the neighborhood and potential tenants at risk. (Especially here in South Carolina where laws and regulations are daunting and ever changing)
In order to reduce expenses, many property owners choose to manage their rental homes on their own which can lead to issues that were never even considered when taking on such a huge responsibility.
For the majority of DIY landlords, it comes down to priority. They are often busy professionals with either multiple units, a multitude of business obligations, family responsibilities, and they simply spread themselves too thin. This can result in cutting corners and not providing the correct response. However, this is absolutely not due to the lack of knowledge or effort, or even great intentions. We are only human and unfortunately those superpowers of doing it all haven’t been harnessed yet. We can’t always accomplish the things we intend to.
Aside from not having enough time, expecting DIY landlords to be able to maintain up to date information about compliance regulations, within the federal, state, neighborhood and HOA level is a demanding task even for the experienced professional. An astonishing 49% of DIY landlords fail to perform background and credit checks on potential tenants. That to me, is a frightening thought. It can lead to a multitude of issues from legal battles, to high turnover, and even criminal concerns. It can also cause a great frustration to neighbors when a tenant fails to comply with neighborhood or HOA regulations on a regular basis. No property owner can afford to have tenants who are in, or could cause legal issues. Need I mention the word bankruptcy… do you know what happens when you move a tenant into a property with an open case?.
The last painful point of DIY landlords is maintenance…. They often are unable to respond immediately to maintenance requests or even emergencies. The work is often performed by themselves and not licensed professionals which creates unsatisfactory and more importantly un-guaranteed work. What happens what that faucet that was just installed 2 weeks ago explodes and floods the kitchen? They now have more damage and more expenses to cover for a second time around. DIY landlords also let things slide just because of the hassle it takes to coordinate the maintenance of the property. This can lead to decreased curb appeal, which can effect property value.
While there absolutely are those superhero DIY landlords, the majority of them struggle. This isn’t necessarily because they don’t have wonderful intentions of being great, but simply because life gets in the way.
If you know anyone who is a DIY landlord I strongly urge them to call in the experts! Help them get their life back!
Hiring the CORRECT property management company can help those DIY Landlords accomplish their goals of being the best. Having a well-maintained property, tenants who take care of the property, and getting the assistance they need to reduce not only their stress, but their liability as well.
Having a great property management company can make you the hero landlord you want to be by improving the long term value of your biggest investment while giving you the freedom you deserve to accomplish your dreams. After all, the reason we are in business is to improve your quality of life as well as your tenants.
The key words here are great property Management Company as well. Just as you would screen your tenants, make sure that you do your due diligence with your potential property management company. They are looking after your biggest investment and you need to make sure they are in your corner with a team of experts!
-Kimberly Winn VP of Operations Real Property Management Portland, Salt Lake City, Columbia and Reno